Posts Tagged ‘Stone’

A Beautiful Blade of Mixed Heritage…

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Today is a good day. Sinza, a buddy of mine, who started the Exotic Automatic forums we run, (http://exoticautomatic.com Go check it out!!) ran into a very interesting blade, and was kind enough to give me a heads up! And I gotta tell ya, this is an exotic beauty of a blade. Born of classic knife blood. My kind of heritage… Yeah… ๐Ÿ˜€

Allow me to introduce you to a unique stiletto from Burn Knives. A stiletto of mixed blood. African, Asian, and European. They call it an 11″ Italian picklock stiletto in random patterned damascus with a hollow ground tanto blade. *I* call her Aidemona. For reasons which may not be obvious right now. But I assure you, I will explain. And here she is:

Aidemona - 11" Italian Picklock Stilletto, Damascus steel, Tanto Blade

Aidemona - 11" Italian Picklock Stilletto, Damascus steel, Tanto Blade

Isn’t she beautiful? I have always been a fan of stilettos. Beautiful, narrow, usually single edged blades, automatics with will of their own, an a undeniable presence. And this one, while a major departure from traditional stiletto design, is all the more attractive to me for it’s differences. Such sweet differences… OK… I guess I ought to stop marveling at her beauty and introduce her properly. Meet Aidemona.

Aidemona - Left Side

Aidemona - Left Side

Aidemona - Bolster, Guard

Aidemona - Bolster, Guard

I call this knife Aidemona in homage to several characters from Shakespearian literature. Specifically the tragic work, Othello. In it, we have the Venetian beauty Desdemona, who falls in love, and elopes with Othello, a moor, a man of color. In my mind I imagine that if they had a daughter, she would have been called Demona. A child of mixed Italian and African blood. A stiletto in dark damascus steel.

Aidemona - Right Side

Aidemona - Right Side

Aidemona - Liner filework

Aidemona - Liner filework

But Aidemona is yet so much more than that. What if Demona had traveled to Asia, and hooked up with a Japanese man? A Samurai of noble blood? What would their daughter look like? Well, this is who I imagine Aidemona to be. An strong, exotic beauty with a proud Italian stiletto heritage, a Japanese blade, and beautiful dark damascus skin… A melding of cultures so far apart, into something… breathtaking.

Aidemona - Blade

Aidemona - Blade

Aidemona - Blade, Right Side, Point

Aidemona - Blade, Right Side, Point

Perhaps I am biased. I have always loved tanto blades. Their strong, utilitarian lines, and the pure strength of that point design. I have also always loved automatics. And what type of blade is more deserving to be the proud ambassador of automatic knives than the Italian Stiletto? I can’t think of any better. And of course, I love dark knives. Dark blued steel, patterned damascus, they look better to me than the million other shiny flashy blades out there. So you can probably imagine how knives like Aidemona make me feel.

Aidemona - Spine filework

Aidemona - Spine filework

Aidemona - Pommel filework

Aidemona - Pommel filework

And just look at the fit and finish on this blade. Sweet, jet black onyx stone scales, the intricate file work along the spine, liners and pommel of the grip, the skull safety, and the mother of pearl button… A functional, beautiful but, oh, so evil looking work work of art. I love it. I would propose to her, except I have so many girlfriends now, I think it would surely mean my demise…

Aidemona - Mother of Pearl Button, Skull Safety

Aidemona - Mother of Pearl Button, Skull Safety

Aidemona - Closed - Right Side

Aidemona - Closed - Right Side

I think I’m going to just go back and spend the rest of the day just drooling over her from afar…

11″ Italian Picklock Stiletto, Tanto Blade, Black Damascus – [Burn Knives]

A Sword Set In Stone…

Friday, August 7th, 2009

And no, This post will make no reference to Arthurian steel of any kind… ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, as promised, I have a proper weapon to show you. Actually a rather unique weapon too. A nice curvy pointy one. In stone. Yep…

Ok I’ll stop being a tease… ๐Ÿ™‚ I present to you:

Stone Handled Scimitar

Stone Handled Scimitar

A fine example of swordsmithing indeed! This scimitar is interesting in a couple of different ways. First, I love the simple finish on the blade. No high gloss flashy polished steel here, this sword is banded ultra hard carbides. Basically a modern Damascus blade, developed for hardness and strength. This sword is all business boys and girls! Profile wise, This blade is a study of understated scimitar features: A mildly curved scimitar blade, with a fine point, and the stereotypical large scimitar tip profile with the small secondary arc just aft of the point.

In a large heavy scimitar, both of these characteristics are much more exaggerated, but on this sword, they are there, but completely toned down, almost to the point of nonexistence. A rather effective aesthetic if you ask me. The spine of the blade, interestingly enough, is adorned with small scallops, which in this case, aren’t actually bad. Combined with the graduated, textured finish of the blade, it adds a kinds of antiqued effect I find rather cool.

The blade darkens down into the hilt, topped by the traditional simple “S” shaped cross guard, except that the legs of this guard are actually twisted into shape, much like a wrought iron piece. Nice!

Stone Handled Scimitar - Guard

Stone Handled Scimitar - Guard

But perhaps the most unique feature of this sword is the grip. Yes the grip also has a somewhat less toned down version of a traditional scimitar grip profile, but, in a unique twist, the grip is made of stone!! Dendritic limestone, to be precise.

Stone Handled Scimitar - Hilt

Stone Handled Scimitar - Hilt

Now to be honest, while the blade would most certainly pass muster as a service blade, I think stone is perhaps not the best grip material. At least not for practical purposes. It is hard, so it will transmit every impact of the blade directly to the wielders hands, (which I can assure you, is not a fun feeling) And it is also more brittle that steel, so it will most likely break under any extreme load. And I can’t really tell how it’s mounted. If I were a betting creature I wouldn’t be placing any bets about the strength of that getup.

But besides that, the overall aesthetic is pretty darn cool. Even if it is just a wall Hanger. Stone handled wall hangers FTW!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Stone Handled Scimitar – [Angel Swords]

Stone Club, Wooden Sword, or both?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

In this day and age of high tech steels, it’s hard to imagine how our ancient predecessors got by without it. There are so many different kinds of steels, used in so many different ways, from Skyscrapers, and tools, to bolts and belt buckles, that a world without it is almost unfathomable.

And yet they got by somehow. With simple materials readily available in nature. Thatched huts, stone tools, and yes, even primitive, but highly effective weapons. Perhaps not as cool as the ones we get to play with today, but pretty impressive nonetheless. Today I thought I’d talk a little about one example of pre-metal age ingenuity I ran into a long time ago, but still find quite interesting.

The Macahuitl

The Macahuitl

This is called the Macuahuitl, or Macahuitl. It is an old Mesoamerican weapon, most frequently associated with the Aztecs, and based on the much simpler wooden club, or Macana, used by the people of old central and south America. It is basically a wooden club, with pieces of obsidian embedded in it, often tied in place with leather straps or cordage.

Macahuitl Sketch

Macahuitl Sketch

There have been many cultures that have used purely wood based sword and axe like weapons (which will be the topic of a future post). But wood, by itself, is absolutely horrible at holding an edge. And only on certain hard woods can you even create a convincing edge. Make an edge in a piece of soft wood, and you’d loose it cutting through a block of cheese.

A Fantasy Macahuitl - Tom Anderson

A Fantasy Macahuitl - Tom Anderson

However, rocks with a high quartz content, like obsidian or flint, readily chip into very, very sharp, reasonably durable edges, and at some point, some enterprising Aztec realized that putting obsidian chips into the edge of his weapon would give it a particularly evil edge. The end result being a weapon that could be used in much the same way as the club it was based on, except with massive cutting power. Rather clever actually.

Macahuitl Blades

Macahuitl Blades

At this point I think it behooves me to point out that I believe the Aztecs were quite fond of smacking people upside the head with their wooden clubs, which invariably meant that, with the advent of the macahuitl, a new era of wanton beheadings and such was spawned, not unlike their Japanese counterparts. A rather unfortunate side effect of progress. Especially if you are a smackee. But I digress.

An Aztec Warriior with a Macahuitl

An Aztec Warriior with a Macahuitl

I find this weapon intriguing because it kind of marks a milestone in weapon design. Much like flint arrow heads over sharpened sticks, and stone clubs vs regular wooden clubs, this weapon, to me, represents not only the Aztec cultures first steps into true swordsmanship, but also the ingenuity of the old cultures.

A Macahuitl made from a baseball bat

A Macahuitl made from a baseball bat

I think nowadays we take for granted how important these seemingly unimportant little steps were for the people of the day. And that enterprising inventive nature is certainly something that I aspire to even today. And when I say “aspire to”, I mean the weapons building. Not the beheadings and human sacrifice.

Though there are times when I wish… Never mind…

Macahuitl – [My Armory]
Macahuitl – [Wikipedia]

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